When did Social Media stop being social?
Somewhere between Facebook's launch some 15 years ago and now, social media has stopped becoming social and, from a business page point of view, more of a sales pitch tool.
There are few things more irritating than seeing a business account post in a scripted voice, with daily content that does nothing more than talk about themselves and their “special offers”. No wonder the majority of businesses are having to supplement low organic reach with paid and boosted posts. You are spending money that you don’t have to be spending!
Imagine a business account that communicated in a non-scripted and personal way. With words that you and I use in sentences and that create real conversations. Imagine this page didn’t talk about themselves with every keystroke, but about you and the things you have an interest in. Whether it is that Caribbean beach resort that you love or that clothing company you can’t go a day without wearing – you would trust that page more than a page that did nothing but post daily self-promoting posts, right? Would you engage more with a brand that talked like a real person and communicated with you like a friend more than an automated copy/paste response?
Twitter is a great example of this so let’s focus the lens on that little branded blue bird. Have you been in a Twitter Chat? For those of you that haven’t, they are scheduled chat sessions on a specific topic of interest with pre-planned questions. The chat participants all use a certain hashtag which allows them to filter their feeds and see posts in the chat. The pre-planned questions are answered and conversations are developed organically – simple! It really is a great thing and I love participating in them, aiming to drop in on at least a couple each week. Having said that, one thing that I really can’t stand is the brands who participate and answer questions with only self-promotion - it's cringe worthy sometimes! How conversational is that? If a brand responded as an actual human with personality, not only would the answers be more authentic but they would actually generate conversations. When I participated from a business account, I would converse with the chat as myself – a human with personality. Real answers – inserting the business product only when applicable – and not afraid to answer with my own personal answers. This will generate trust, conversation AND allow participation in a wider scope of chat topics – putting your brands account out in front of new people and building trust with that audience and who knows, maybe even a few new friends.
The long and short of it is that you need to stop acting like a sales person and more like a social human being. Write content that speaks to your fan’s interests, not your own sales goals. Speak with a real voice and stop trying to script the perfect piece of content and response. Your fans will react in a whole new and open way, allowing you to have a real conversation with them and build real trust – almost like the real world. After all, wasn’t that the whole idea of social media in the beginning anyway?